Effect of Chemical Pretreatment on X-ray Powder Diffraction Characteristics of Clay Minerals Derived from Volcanic Ash

Gordon Ross Brewster
Department of Geography, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Abstract: The effects of NaOAc removal of carbonates, H2O2 removal of organic materials, and sodium citrate-bicarbonate-dithionite (SCBD) removal of iron oxides upon the X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) characteristics of clay minerals present within weathered volcanic ash deposits were examined. All pretreatments of samples derived from the Ae and Bhf horizons containing volcanic ash resulted in dramatic increases in XRD peak intensities, while the treatment of IIC-horizon samples resulted in subdued XRD peak intensities. Also, the chemical treatments produced an apparent increase in the amount of expandable clay minerals within the Ae horizon, due probably to the hydrolysis and removal of interlayer Al3+ when H2O2 and SCBD were used. Hence, poorly ordered and pedogenicaUy modified vermiculite or vermiculite/montmorillonite interstratifications became “weathered” by H+ attack and Al3+ removal in a manner similar to the natural processes which take place in the acid and eluvial A horizon. In addition, possible XRD peak modification due to the dilution of crystalline clay concentrations by amorphous clay-size material appeared to be subordinate to the laboratory-induced chemical alteration of the weathered clay minerals.

Key Words: Amorphous • Chemical treatment • Soil clay • Vermiculite • Volcanic ash • Weathering • X-ray powder diffraction

Clays and Clay Minerals; August 1980 v. 28; no. 4; p. 303-310; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1980.0280409
© 1980, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)